Apple failed to establish that consumer demand for Samsung products was driven by technology it stole, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California, said in her Dec. 17 ruling.While a jury found Samsung infringed six Apple patents, it isn’t in the public interest to ban Samsung’s devices because the infringing elements constituted a limited part of Samsung’s phones, Koh said.
The jury said Aug. 24 at the end of a trial that Samsung should pay
$1.05 billion. Apple asked Koh to increase the damages by $536 million,
while Samsung says they should be reduced by more than $600 million.
Koh, who held a hearing on the matter Dec. 6, has yet to issue a ruling.
“There’s not going to be any knockout punches between these two
competitors,” Carl Howe, a Yankee Group analyst, said in a phone
interview. “Injunctions can be knockouts. This is going to be a war of
Samsung and Apple, the world’s two biggest smartphone makers, have
each scored victories in their patent disputes fought over four
continents since Apple accused Asia’s biggest electronics maker of
“slavishly copying” its devices. The companies are competing for
dominance of a global mobile-device market estimated by Yankee Group at
$346 billion this year.
Hours after Koh’s ruling on the sales ban, Samsung, which faces an
antitrust probe by European regulators, said it will halt efforts to
block sales of Apple products in Europe. The developments in the U.S.
and Europe may move the companies closer to settling their global
“There will be some settlement of some sort and all this stuff is
just going to dictate who’s going to provide a bit more money than the
other,” said David Long, a patent lawyer with Dow Lohnes PLLC in
Washington who’s not involved in the case. “All this court stuff is just
After the verdict in San Jose, Apple argued Samsung bet that the
benefits of using intellectual property from the iPhone and iPad would
outweigh the money damages the jury awarded. Apple urged Koh to approve
the sales ban and award additional damages because Samsung took market
share from Apple by “deliberately copying the iPhone design,” according
to a court filing.
Kathleen Sullivan, a lawyer for Samsung, contended at the Dec. 6 hearing
that the damages should be reduced by more than $600 million. Sullivan
said that while the jury’s calculations were precise, the nine-member
panel was hampered by a verdict form that, against Samsung’s wishes,
wasn’t “particularized” enough to permit jurors to properly arrive at
damages on a product-by-product basis.
“You should reverse engineer” to make sure the damages are “causally connected to the evidence,” Sullivan told the judge.
Koh said at the hearing that while the jury was precise and
consistent in calculating infringement damages for 28 different Samsung
products, the method used by the panel may have been mistaken.
“If there is enough evidence in the record to justify that damage
award then that verdict should be upheld,’ Harold McElhinny, a lawyer
for Apple, argued to the judge.
The patent disputes began when Samsung released its Galaxy smartphones
in 2010. Apple’s Jobs, who died Oct. 5, 2011, initiated contact with
Samsung over his concerns that the Galaxy phones copied the iPhone,
according to testimony from the trial in August.
Jobs later vowed to wage "thermonuclear war" to prove that phones
running on Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android operating system copy the
iPhone. Samsung devices use Android.
Apple’s 2011 suit claimed Samsung products infringe four design
patents and three utility, or software, patents. While finding
infringement of six patents, the jury concluded that Samsung didn’t
infringe one patent covering the design of Apple’s iPad tablet computer.